How well do search engines understand the linking structure of a web site? Do they have ways to organize and classify individual links and blocks of links that they see on the pages of a site?
Do they treat links and collections of links that they find on more than one page of a site differently than links and collections of links only on one page? If they find more than one group of links on a page that contain many of the same links, though at the top and bottom of the page, how might they treat those links?
I came across a patent filing from Microsoft from last summer that explored many of these topics, as well as others. It hadn’t drawn much attention, so I decided to take a closer look at it here.
Segmentation and Link Blocks